On October 11, 2013, ISNA’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances in Washington, D.C., hosted the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), H.E. Akmeleddin Ihsanoglu, for an intimate reception and discussion on interreligious partnership and cooperation around the world. Dr. Ihsanoglu has served as Secretary General of the OIC since 2004, and has had immense achievements in this role, including advancing the impact and visibility of the OIC worldwide.
The OIC is the second largest intergovernmental organization, after the United Nations, and is comprised of 57 member states. The organization seeks to be “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and ensures to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.” Along these lines, the Islamic Society of North America has been a partner and collaborator with the OIC on numerous international programs, including recent work on the rights of minorities in Muslim majority countries.
Dr. Ihsanoglu was received by ISNA President, Imam Mohamed Magid, along with other ISNA staff in Washington, D.C. “ISNA appreciates the collaboration and the growing working relationship with the OIC, especially under the leadership of Secretary General Ihsanoglu, and we are looking forward to continue this cooperation for the benefit of Muslim communities around the world and the society at large” said Imam Magid. Dr. Ihsanoglu remarked that he has wanted to visit ISNA to express his gratitude and support its exemplary work, particularly in the area of interfaith partnership and cooperation. He renewed the OIC commitment to work with ISNA on various projects, and specifically mentioned ISNA’s efforts to address religious freedom and the rights of minorities in OIC member countries. ISNA also took this opportunity to brief Dr. Ihsanoglu on the excellent work of the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign, a coalition of interfaith, faith-based and religious organizations standing together to end anti-Muslim sentiment.